London needs new ways for people to travel safely
24 September, 2020
Plans for a “pop-up” bike lane running up and down Haverstock Hill
• WE refer to the your coverage of the projects that Camden are pursuing to make the borough a place where residents can safely choose the bicycle (or e-bike, mobility vehicle, etc) as their main mode of travel.
The pop-up cycle lanes on Haverstock Hill to which Richard Osley refers (Warning that elderly will face steep hill if bike lane takes parking bays, September 17) will form a link in a connected network designed as a part of Camden’s Transport Strategy (2019).
Substantial parts of that network, of a standard to enable safe cycling for all, are already in place and more are under construction.
For example, C6, the cycleway between Blackfriars Bridge and Kentish Town was completed a year ago with the work in Midland Road and the crossing over Euston Road to Judd Street. The new pop-up lanes in Prince of Wales Road extend that route to the bottom of Haverstock Hill.
The same network extends through Bloomsbury via the Tavistock and Torrington Place cycle lanes which will soon link to the cycle lanes on Gower Street and Bloomsbury Street, offering safe cycling access to the West End and Covent Garden.
Pop-up lanes on York Way and Gray’s Inn Road will open another part of the borough to cycling for all.
In his letter (Demand for secrecy is unacceptable, September 17) Cllr Oliver Cooper attempts to reject a 12-month trial of the pop-up cycle lanes before consultation on the grounds that an unofficial and loaded survey conducted by the Conservative party has generated opposition.
The first question in his survey sets the tone: “Do you support or oppose removing all parking bays on Haverstock Hill and replacing them with two cycle lanes?”
In other words, rather than looking at the positives, Cllr Cooper is asking people to focus only on the loss of convenience for motorists.
He also claims that the changes to parking will negatively impact local shops. This is a common claim and there is plenty of evidence to show it is untrue.
Disabled bays are being moved from the main road to the side roads, but continue to be very close to shops and locations of interest, in certain instances even closer than previously.
The proposal adds four new zebra crossings which will make life easier for pedestrians, especially elderly and disabled citizens who at the moment have to use dangerous, informal, crossings.
By removing parking places, and introducing a longer bus lane, bus journeys should also become quicker; which favours a shift to public transport.
Cllr Adam Harrison is right in noting that people’s reluctance to use public transport and the stated concerns from the government and the mayor over the negative impacts of increased car use drives a need to provide new ways for people to travel safely.
It is essential to create space on the roads for the two-thirds of Camden residents who don’t own or have access to a car.
Anyone interested in viewing Camden’s full plan for pop-up cycle lanes can do so at this link: /bit.ly/ccnp2020.
We shall be happy to accompany Cllr Cooper or anyone else who wishes to view the safe cycling network that is emerging in Camden.
They can register their interest in a guided ride via the “Cycle Buddies” page on our website: camdencyclists.org.uk/camden/cycle-buddies.
Camden Cycling Campaign